Saturday, November 9, 2013


22 Couve LaFate Jr RB Wilmington,  DE / Henderson HS
Chester, PA (Nov. 9, 2013) – Junior Couve LaFate (Wilmington, DE/Henderson)broke off a 91-yard touchdown run early in the contest that set the tone to a record day for him and a 52-20 Widener victory over Middle Atlantic Conference-foe over King’s at Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium.

Widener for the fourth straight game scored a touchdown on its first drive of the contest, completing a 15-play, 65-yard march.  Afraid to kick to junior All-America Anthony Davis (Upland, PA/Chester), the Monarchs booted the opening kickoff out of bounds before surrendering a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore Chris Wickes (Bear, DE/Caravel Academy) for a 7-0 lead.

On the Pride’s next possession, LaFate took a handoff on the drive’s second play, ran up the middle and cruised into the end zone for the game’s signature play and a 14-0 margin with 5:54 left in the first.

It is Widener’s longest run since the legendary Billy “White Shoes” Johnson had a 93-yard touchdown scamper at Ursinus on October 28, 1972.

King’s got a huge break on its next drive.  Tyler Hartranft completed a pass to Josh Sanders and was crushed by junior middle linebacker Kevin Burns (Collingdale, PA/West Catholic), forcing a fumble.  But Justin Burke was there in the end zone for the recovery with 2:33 to play and a 14-7 deficit.

Wickes on the Pride’s next march had a 51-yard run to the Monarchs’ 18 yard line and then scored on a three-yard burst with 1:06 left in the quarter for a 21-7 margin.

The defenses in the second quarter began to take shape with several stalled drives. Widener was able to capitalize on a short field after Hartranft’s quick kick went four yards to the King’s 45.  Three plays later, freshman Seth Klein (Wernersville, PA/Wilson West Lawn) found Davis on a 20-yard fade pass with 8:45 left in the half for a 28-7 margin.

The Pride then used a 14-play drive late in the half to lead into sophomore Ryan O’Hara (Royersford, PA/Spring-Ford) booting an 18-yard field goal with six seconds remaining for a 31-7 halftime score.

LaFate already was at 142 yards in the opening half on 14 carries, helping Widener gain 231 yards on the ground in the half en route to a 344-109 edge in total offense.

King’s first drive in the second half ended after just two plays when sophomore Jamal Goodman (Baltimore, MD/Calvert Hall) forced and recovered a fumble at the visitors’ 27 yard line.  LaFate got his second score of the contest on a three-yard run for a 38-7 Widener lead.

Connor Schlegel (Denver, PA) hauled in a 28-yard touchdown pass from Klein later in the third and fellow sophomore Colby McMaster (New Oxford, PA) added a 35-yard touchdown run early in the fourth for the Pride, who improved to 10-1 at Quick Stadium against the Monarchs.

Dan Kempa caught a 61-yard touchdown pass from Hartranft and backup quarterback Tom Hehre scored on a six-yard touchdown run for the Monarchs.

LaFate ended with 174 rushing on 19 carries for his first career 100-yard game.  This helped the Pride close with 314 yards rushing, their greatest total since getting 321 in a snowstorm at Albright on October 29, 2011.

Klein, who for the second straight week entered the contest leading the nation in completion percentage, completed 15-of-27 passes for 223 yards.  Senior Jermaine Quattlebaum (Upper Marlboro, MD/Largo) hauled in five receptions for 80 yards for Widener, which closed with a 537-354 edge in total offense.

Senior linebacker Dylan Ditmer (Exton, PA/Downingtown East) had a day with 11 solo tackles for the Pride, who permitted just 130 rushing yards and forced the Monarchs to go just 2-of-13 on third-down conversions.

Hartranft completed 15-of-31 passes for 224 yards, Kempa notched seven receptions for 156 yards with Anthony Martuccio and Nick Kaijala each getting eight tackles for the Monarchs (5-4, 5-3 MAC), who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

Widener (6-3, 6-2) is tied for second place in the MAC with Lycoming and both are one game in back of Lebanon Valley (7-1).

Widener ends the regular season next Saturday at Delaware Valley in a battle for the Keystone Cup.  Kickoff in Doylestown, PA is at 1:00 pm.